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also pho·ney  (fō′nē)
adj. pho·ni·er, pho·ni·est
1. Not genuine or real; sham or counterfeit: a phony credit card; a phony beard.
2. Spurious, deceptive, or false: a phony excuse.
3. Fraudulent, deceitful, or dishonest: a phony expert in investing.
n. pl. pho·nies also pho·neys
1. A fraudulent or dishonest person.
2. Something that is not genuine; a fake.

[Alteration of fawney, gilt brass ring used by swindlers, from Irish Gaelic fáinne, ring, from Old Irish.]

pho′ni·ly adv.
pho′ni·ness n.


adj, n -nier or -niest, pl -nies
a variant spelling (esp US) of phoney
ˈphoniness n


or pho•ney

(ˈfoʊ ni)

adj. -ni•er, -ni•est, adj.
1. not real or genuine; fake: phony diamonds.
2. false or deceiving: a phony excuse.
3. affected or pretentious.
4. something phony; a counterfeit or fake.
5. an insincere or affected person.
6. to falsify (often fol. by up): to phony up a document.
[1895–1900; perhaps alter. and resp. of fawney (slang) finger ring (< Irish fáinne), taken to mean “false” in the phrase fawney rig a confidence game in which a brass ring is sold as a gold one]
pho′ni•ly, adv.
pho′ni•ness, n.


a combining form used in the formation of abstract nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phone: telephony.
[< Greek -phōnia; see -phone, -y3]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.phony - a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motivesphony - a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives
beguiler, cheater, deceiver, trickster, slicker, cheat - someone who leads you to believe something that is not true
charmer, smoothie, smoothy, sweet talker - someone with an assured and ingratiating manner
Tartufe, Tartuffe - a hypocrite who pretends to religious piety (after the protagonist in a play by Moliere)
whited sepulcher, whited sepulchre - a person who is inwardly evil but outwardly professes to be virtuous
Adj.1.phony - fraudulent; having a misleading appearance
counterfeit, imitative - not genuine; imitating something superior; "counterfeit emotion"; "counterfeit money"; "counterfeit works of art"; "a counterfeit prince"


also phoney
1. Fraudulently or deceptively imitative:
2. Not genuine or sincere:
1. A fraudulent imitation:
3. A person who practices hypocrisy:
إنْسان أو شَيء مُزَيَّفكاذِب، مُزّيَّف، مُصْطَنَع


(ˈfəuni) adjective
not genuine; fake; false. a phoney French accent.
a person who is not what he pretends to be. He's not a real doctor – he's a phoney.
References in classic literature ?
Tell me, Phony, what is this record like, which you say you have on tap?
Phony, and scatter your pieces far and wide over the country, as a matter of kindness to the people you might meet if allowed to run around loose.
The day before, an Arroyo Seco student was arrested after trying to pass a phony $10 bill at the lunch line, O'Neill said.
UL), the not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, uncovered a few instances of holiday decorations with counterfeit -- or phony -- UL certification Marks last year.
The SYN flood problem is created when hackers direct a volume of connection requests with phony addresses, thereby overflowing the connection queues causing a network server to drop new connections, preventing legitimate access to the network service.
I told you four months ago the major oil companies would come up with their annual, phony excuses to raise the gas prices.
15 /PRNewswire/ -- A state Revenue Department agent today was charged with providing phony documents to his supervisors to hide the fact that he skipped more than 30 days of work while assigned to an out-of-state project, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr.
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 1996--Two Los Angeles-area men were charged Wednesday in connection with a sweeping, cross-country insurance fraud scam that used phony auto and workers' compensation claims to defraud insurers of at least $10 million, Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush announced.
To establish his bona fides, he gives a phony history of past omens or accomplishments.
Often such returns use phony income or tax withholding amounts to claim refunds when, in fact, none is due.
Hersch then caused phony endorsements to be placed on the checks, and either deposited them into an account he controlled or cashed them.